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sschullo

Wealthy Are Worthy Is Called Into Question

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It used to be in the good old days, that creative, talented and educated individuals who were rewarded with riches were fine with most Americans. It is the American way and a lot of tolerance was given to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, as long as the perception was that they worked for their status. There was a role for them to act out on our fantasies. It was also good for business.

According to this author, this perception and the reality of good for business may be over. As the financial crisis unfolds, Americans are beginning to ask questions and speak openly about their disgust with pure, unmitigated, unfettered and the now public audacity of greed. In fact, people are losing their jobs. Refuting what Michael Douglas' role in Wall Street, "Greed is no longer good."

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hilt...0,351773.column

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I don't at all mind people making as much money as they possibly can. More power to them! If someone like Kobe Bryant can make many millions of dollars, who am I to question the people who are paying him? If people are willing to pay Paris _ilton 50K to merely attend their parties, it's no skin off my nose. If Wall Street wants to pay millions to its employees, good for them! I would LOVE to make money like that.

 

In return:

 

1) I can simply refuse to buy tickets to a Laker game.

2) I can ignore Paris _ilton at all costs.

3) I can avoid investing in Wall Street firms, and instead invest in companies like Vanguard that look out for investor interests.

 

If "greed" means making as much as one can possibly make, greed is OK with me. If Wall Street millionaires want to behave like nouveau riche and flaunt their wealth from here to the East Hamptons, that's OK, too. I can simply ignore them.

 

What I cannot ignore, and what I DO object to, is the federal government using taxpayer money to subsidize business and agriculture from here to high heaven, and bail out firms that made poor decisions.

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Hi,

I agree that you can avoid the greedy. I stopped going to Dodgers games when I figured out that Kevin Brown made more money every 36 hours than I did in a year. My money wasn't going to pay his salary.

 

However, I am offended by the greed of top executives in publicly traded companies. They are using the companies I am invested in with Vanguard as their personal piggy bank. They are not worth what they are being paid. And when they fail, they leave with a big paycheck. Take Carly Fiorina, for example. There is talk she wants to run for governor. Yet, as far as I am concerned, she failed as CEO of HP and walked with $21.1m severance package: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/t...-fiorina2_x.htm As a publicly traded company, that money belongs to the shareholders, not overpaid, worthless CEOs.

 

 

3) I can avoid investing in Wall Street firms, and instead invest in companies like Vanguard that look out for investor interests.

 

Joe

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However, I am offended by the greed of top executives in publicly traded companies. They are using the companies I am invested in with Vanguard as their personal piggy bank.

Joe

 

Great, great point! I agree 100%. I wish that institutional investors would put the heat on these companies to moderate executive compensation. Executives can try as hard as they can to make as much as they can, but the owners of these companies -- and especially mutual funds, pension funds, and the like -- should be willing to put their collective foot down and say, NO! And if "the talent" thinks that their compensation is insufficient, just show them the door.

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I think everybody is right here. Its the blind leading the blind. Government-incompetant. Corporations-greedy and self serving. Its not good for the country. Add the media and we have a very messy combination.

 

I think we need to dismantle and break up some of the largest U.S. corporations so they no longer can wield so much influence on the total economy.

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If you own common stock, you have voting rights. If you own a sufficient amount of common stock, you can demand a proxy vote. Therefore, if you do not like how the management is managing the companies that you own through common stock, you can take direct action.

 

If you invest in companies (including "Wall Street firms") though an open end fund, you can encourage the fund managers to vote and advance proxy statements in line with your goals.

 

Of course, you can also wait for someone else to take action. If you are waiting for institutional investors (which include banks, insurance companies, retirement funds, pension funds, hedge funds, mutual funds, investment banks, unit trusts, and investment trusts), you might be waiting a while for their interests to align with your own.

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I think everybody is right here. Its the blind leading the blind. Government-incompetant. Corporations-greedy and self serving. Its not good for the country. Add the media and we have a very messy combination.

 

I think we need to dismantle and break up some of the largest U.S. corporations so they no longer can wield so much influence on the total economy.

 

 

Tony:

 

Which companies would you break up: Alcoa, IBM, GE, Coke, Pepisco, Microsoft, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Boeing, Lockeed, Berkshire Hathway, ATT, Verizon, ######, Merck, Pfizer, P& G, Exxon, duPont, Honeywell, all of which are successful in competing against foreign corporations who are subsidiized by their governments.

 

40 years ago the US government brought an anti-trust case against IBM because at the time it sold over 90% of all main frame computers which was the only way information could be stored/transmitted at that time. After 13 years of litigation and millions of tax dollars spent, the case was dismissed at the request of the Justice department because it could not prove that IBM was a monopoly. 10 years later IBM's monopoly in mainframes dissipated when PCs became readily available as a cheaper substitute for mainframes due to Microsoft softwear and Intel computer chips and IBM's stock price went from about $40 to 10 in today's value. IBM reinvented itself as a information servicing company and today gets most of its revenue from licensing its patents and IT capability and trades at about $92 a share. What good would come from breaking up such a successful company which has adapted to a changing business environment and who would replace it since 50% of IBMs revenue is attributable to foreign markets?

 

I think that you know even less than you think you know.

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Hi Joe,

Kathy has done it again. I am happy she mentioned Costco. What a great story of how capitalism can work for all of its employees and pay them benefits. If people want government to stop passing worker rights laws, then by golly, take the bull by the horns and follow Costco's lead. There will be no need for national health care, unions, and workers rights. Their CEO, Mr. Sinegal does more for workers rights than the unions, but in the meantime, if and when this happens, workers will need unions.

Steve

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